Hobart's Ali Marpet has best 40 time for O-linemen at combine

Guys who grow up in Hastings-on-the-Hudson, N.Y., and play football at Hobart -- they don't usually make it to the NFL.

Ali Marpet is going to change that.

Marpet ran the 40-yard dash in 4.98 seconds Friday, the fastest 40 time among offensive linemen at the NFL Scouting Combine. Marpet -- who was measured at 6-foot-3 7/8 and 307 pounds -- also had the fastest 10-yard split among the linemen, at 1.74 seconds. The best 40 time among linemen at last year's combine was 4.87, by tackle Taylor Lewan, who went in the first round to the Tennessee Titans.

Marpet was a three-year starter at left tackle for Hobart -- he did not allow a sack during the 2014 season -- but he seems certain to move inside in the NFL, to either guard or center.

"He has the ability to be a starting center," NFL Media draft analyst Mike Mayock said Friday during NFL Network's coverage of the combine.

Marpet also showed well at the Senior Bowl, where he was the only player from a Division III school, and went from a novelty of sorts to a guy who seems destined to be selected in the fourth or fifth round. Marpet -- who has an 80 1/8-inch wingspan -- impressed Thursday in the bench press, with 30 reps at 225 pounds; the reps total was tied for fifth-most among the offensive linemen.

He obviously is going to have a learning curve -- he has blocked NFL-caliber defensive players for less than one week of his career, at the Senior Bowl, and he definitely needs to learn the nuances of playing along the line. Still, he held his own in drills at the Senior Bowl, and his athleticism was impressive at the combine.

"He definitely belongs," NFL Media analyst Charles Davis said during NFL Network coverage Friday.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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